Anxiety is more common among adolescents today than at any other period of time in American history. Teenagers are especially at risk for developing anxiety-related disorders because of factors like hormonal changes and peer pressure. Anxiety symptoms vary depending on whether you have avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety. Many times, symptoms between avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety disorder may seem similar. However, avoidant personality disorder has more severe symptoms than social anxiety and several unique characteristics. In this case, one should consider attending a teen intensive outpatient program in Los Angeles.
Avoidant Personality Disorder vs. Social Anxiety
The diagnostic criteria for both avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety have changed over the years. In the past, the symptoms for both were almost identical. More recently, medical professionals have outlined several important differences between avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety. Some of the most common symptoms of avoidant personality disorder include:
- Low self-esteem
- Believing you are inferior to others
- Internalizing social anxiety as an indication that you are inferior to others
- Extreme fear of rejection that causes you to avoid social interactions
- Avoiding social and romantic relationships
A major distinguishing characteristic of avoidant personality disorder is that you not only have severe anxiety involving interactions with others, but that anxiety causes you to believe that you are less worthy than others. Some of the most common symptoms of social anxiety include:
- Experiencing anxiety during social situations
- Fearing that you will be judged or humiliated when doing normal activities in front of others
- Feeling self-conscious in front of others
- Poor eye contact or speaking softly
While the differences between social anxiety vs. avoidant personality disorder may be difficult to detect, both conditions can severely impact your ability to live a happy, normal life.
Treatment for social anxiety and avoidant personality disorder typically involves a combination of evidence-based and holistic treatments, such as:
- Exercise therapy
- Art therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectic behavioral therapy
- Support groups
Treatment options can also include attending a teen intensive outpatient program in Los Angeles. Both inpatient and outpatient programs utilize therapies that can help you learn how to cope with your symptoms and triggers. Learning how to identify and change negative thoughts and feelings is another important part of treatment. Medications, such as anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants can also help limit and diminish your symptoms. When avoidant personality disorder or social anxiety is left untreated, symptoms can become disabling. Early treatment improves recovery outcomes, making it extremely important to reach out for help when you or your teen first demonstrate anxiety-related symptoms.
Who Is Your Accountability Partner?
Staying in recovery is definitely not easy, especially for people who co-occurring mental health concerns. Teens struggling with either avoidant personality disorder or social anxiety may drink or use drugs in order to cope with the stresses of being around people. In order to help your teen to avoid the peer pressure to drink, they might need the support of an accountability partner. In addition, an accountability partner will be present to support your teen and help them remain focused at holiday celebrations. A few of the addictions we treat at Destinations for teens include:
Reaching Out for Help Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of avoidant personality disorder vs. social anxiety, you may feel overwhelmed, scared, or isolated. Reaching out for help is the first step in the recovery process. With proper treatment, symptoms can be mitigated and allow you or your loved one to live a happy, fulfilling life. To find out more about our treatment programs, call us today at 877.466.0620.
References Evaluating the role of functional impairment in personality psychopathology. Department of Psychology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. 20 March 2018